I don’t watch a lot of documentaries about music because more often than not they are pretty boring historical documents filled with praise and talking heads. Beautiful Noise I wanted to see because it is the first documentary that tries to collect and make sense of a genre I love: the legendary noise and shoegazer bands of the 80’s and 90’s.
Beautiful Noise is the result of eight years of filming and a successful Kickstarter to secure distribution, but sad to say it is also a music documentary that follows the well-trodden path of praise and talking heads. Many of the interviewed bands and musicians offer anecdotes, descriptions and stories from the era, but the film fails to bring it all together and deliver insights into influences, influencees or any form of analysis of the sound and the phenomena. The word shoegazing is not even mentioned in the documentary (intended?). The film quality is not the greatest, and in the case of the archive clips it is understandable and easily forgiven, but the new interviews seem unplanned with loud background noises, unsteady camera, and blurry photo.
All in all Beautiful Noise looks and feels a lot more amateurish than necessary. However it offers an OK introduction to these bands and their extraordinary music still feels fresh today. Their influence can hardly be overestimated.
List of some bands covered in Beautiful Noise: Cocteau Twins, The Jesus and Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine, Ride, Slowdive, Chapterhouse, Swervedriver, Lush, Curve, Pale Saints, Seefeel, AR Kane, and Medicine
Get the documentary here: http://www.beautifulnoisedocumentary.com/